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Types of Nylon

There are three basic weaves that are commonly used to manufacture nylon jackets or outerwear. These are Taffeta, Satin and Oxford.


Taffeta is a plain weave type of fabric and represents the basic form of weaving. The yarns alternately pass over and under each other. This type of woven fabric is very stable because of the many iner-weavings. Taffeta nylon, because of it’s finer weave, imparts an excellent balance of surface and smoothness. This provides for good ink adhesion and edge definition.

Some of the products manufactured from this type of fabric include windbreaker jackets, lined jackets, umbrellas, windsocks, light weight tote bags, etc.


"Oxford" nylon is actually a name given to the basket weave of two threads over and two threads under. A larger diameter thread than the thread for taffeta is used. A harsher hand and rough surface are the result of this type of weave (often found in men's dress shirts).

The rougher surface requires a thicker film of ink. The surface of the fabric may also cause a sawtooth edge to the print.

Products manufactured from this fabric include athletic jackets, banners, flags, tote bags and brief cases.


The satin weave produces a very lustrous fabric. This is the fabric used for Nylon Satin Jackets. For the screen printer, satin fabric provides a very smooth surface on which to print. Opacity and edge definition is easily achieved on this fabric.

It seems that the primary use for this fabric is for jackets, but it is also occasionally used for banners and other nylon products.

Jacket Linings

Jackets come in four basic linings - shell, kasha, fleece and quilt.


The term shell means that the jacket consists of one layer of nylon (no lining). This is the lightweight style jacket sometimes called a windbreaker.


Kasha lining is also called flannel. Kasha is a type of flannel made out of polyester.


Fleece is a man made sheerling or lambswool type of lining.


Quilt is a two layered fabric consisting of polyester batting (or fluff) with a nylon or polyester acetate layer. It is stitched in an assorted variety of patterns (i.e. squares or diamonds).

Required Printing Equipment

Using the correct equipment is fundamental for achieving the best printing results. The "best" print requires using the correct equipment, the correct ink and the best available nylon jacket.


The jacket hold-down is a very important piece of equipment, as it must hold the nylon fabric securely. Because most jackets printed are multiple layer garments (lined), just putting adhesive on the platen will not hold the top layer of the garment in place.

The hold-down must keep the nylon in place when flashing and printing the nylon fabric. Preferably, the hold-down should be made of steel with rubber cushioning around the inside edges to grip the nylon fabric. It is also advisable to have a rubber pad on the printing platen. The rubber pad will reduce the amount of heat retained by the platen. Since aluminum and wood expand when heated, they do not make the best hold-downs

Frames and Mesh

Retensionable metal screen frames are highly recommended. Second best would be extruded metal frames that are newly stretched (mechanically, not by hand) and glued.

Screen mesh should be monofilament polyester. For one-color prints, a range of 125 to 230 monofilament mesh is recommended. Metallic colors should be printed through 86 to 160 monofilament. Process colors require 200 to 355 monofilament. Multi-color spot printing should be printed through 160 to 205 monofilament.


Nylon fabric is a hard, relatively smooth surface. Squeegees must have a sharp, straight and level edge. Use 70 to 80 durometer or 60-90-60 to 70-90-70 triple durometer squeegees.

Ink Mixing

International Coatings 900 Series Direct Print Nylon Ink must be mixed with International Coatings 900LF Catalyst prior to use to be effective.

Catalyst to Ink Ratios:

By Volume = 16 parts of ink color to 1 part of 900 Catalyst.

By Weight = 20 parts of ink color to 1 part of 900 Catalyst.


Printing Tips and Techniques

Off contact is the key factor in successful nylon printing. The off-contact distance should be 1/16" to 1/8" from the highest point of the nylon fabric. Excessive off contact will cause heavy ink deposit at the outer edges of the print. Double imaging or "slurring" of the image by too much off-contact is caused by the nylon fabric sliding or slipping off the back of the stencil.

Off contact is particularly important when printing nylon that is lined with either quilt or fleece. Jackets that are lined with these fabrics should have approximately 1/16" off contact. Excessive off contact requires extra squeegee pressure causing the same slurring or double imaging. The thickness of these linings will cause the garment to retain heat longer than thinner lined or unlined garments.


Because nylon fabric changes size when heated (as in flashing), pre-heating the fabric or jacket before printing is highly recommended. Pre-heating also helps to remove wrinkles from the fabric. Wrinkles or creases can often show up in the printed images, causing misprints. The fabric or jacket should be sent through the dryer or pre-heated with the flash cure unit for approximately 2 to 5 seconds, reaching a temperature of 150°F to 200°F. The flash cure unit should be set between medium and medium high heat. Flash cure units with one heat setting will need to be adjusted and tested for correct height and dwell time. Flash cure units that swing in and away automatically, at a set time, are highly recommended.

All flash cure units should be adjusted for dwell time and temperature before production begins.

Single Color Printing

The nylon fabric must be held securely in place, even on a single color print. Correct amount of off contact and clean screen break immediately after the squeegee passes is extremely important in eliminating slurring or double imaging.

Multi-Color Printing

The success of both spot color and process multi-color printing is dependent on ink film thickness. Flashing time will vary according to the ink film thickness. Nylon fabric should be printed while warm. If the fabric is printed while hot the ink may start to gel in the screen. Nylon that is left to cool for too long generally changes size or shape slightly. The change will throw off registration in the print.


The heat element distance should be high enough so the fabric does not scorch. The entire ink film (both area and thickness) must reach 300°F to 325°F (149°C to 163°C) to achieve a full cure. The ink film adhesion will become stronger and more abrasion resistant over the next 48 to 72 hours.


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Recommendations and statements made are based on International Coatings' research and experience. Since International Coatings does not have any control over the conditions of use or storage of the product sold, International Coatings cannot guarantee the results obtained through use of its’ products. All products are sold and samples given without any representation of warranty, expressed or implied, of fitness for any particular purpose or otherwise, and upon condition that the buyer shall determine the suitability of the product for its own purpose. This applies also where rights of third parties are involved. It does not release the user from the obligation to test the suitability of the product for the intended purpose and application. Rev72600






































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